We’re here today to mourn the passing but also to honor the life of Milton Greenhouse, beloved father and grandfather. We know that this was his time and that he died knowing that he was loved.
He was born here in New Haven on January 27, 1922. He lived here all his life and was deeply rooted in this area. He grew up in the City Point area. Everyone knew everyone. It was a mixed ethnic neighborhood where everyone got along and watched out for each other and each other’s children. His father was a plumber and knew how to fix things and do things. Their neighbor was an electrician; everyone did for everyone else. Everyone helped each other. What a wonderful model for a society.
He had a great childhood and he was always talking about his wonderful memories. He would day, “I’ll always remember” and then he’d tell the story and it would end, “And we had a wonderful time.” He remembered Howard Ave. being paved and they went rollerskating on it till the Irish Cop shooed them away and then they came back again. He had elementary school friends from Westville and Sheridan and Hillhouse and summers at Woodmont who would be his friends for all his life. He was a hockey player, but he was 5’5’ 130 pounds when he entered the army. He loved to pay hockey but he would say, “I got killed every time.” He went to Northeastern on a hockey scholarship but he had to stop partly because he was getting killed but also because he enlisted. He joined an army unit that consisted of mechanically inclined persons. They fixed vehicles, tanks, jeeps and they kept the war effort running. He never fired a gun but was wounded in his arm. Even from the war, he remembered things with happy endings.
He came back and worked for his father at William Greenhouse Plumbing and Heating. He really admired his father and they were very much alike. They were handy and could fix anything with whatever materials were on hand. They did it as a business but they also did it to help neighbors and even as charity work. They helped ar Play ridge a summer residential program for children with disabilities. They would help them with whatever needs would arise. They helped with a Toolbox program for Christmas.
He could ride through this area and know just about every building, schoolhouse and store. He helped uncover old piers when they were building Macy’s and Malley’s.
He met Annette on a blind date. It was love at first sight. They had one long, wonderful love affair. Milt was 25 and Annette was 21 when they got married.
He would say that she was beautiful, inside and out. He said: “She was beautiful here and here.”
He said that she was a wonderful companion, that she was very smart, very intelligent.
He thought Annette was the most beautiful woman in the world
They were married for 71 years.
I asked Milton if they ever fought, and he could not remember ever fighting, but he said, quite charmingly, “If we ever had a fight, she was the winner.”
They went to shows at Long Wharf and in New York.
Milt and Annette were regular moviegoers.
Earlier on, they would host dinner parties.
He loved to sail and fixed sailboats, restored them, sailed them and sold them. He taught Annette how to sail; they sailed all over.
They traveled to England, France, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Greece and the Grand Canyon. Milt said: “If we decided to go someplace, we went.
She knew what she wanted to do and where she wanted to go.” They had a wonderful, fantastic marriage. They were so close they were even in the emergency room together.
He would say, “I would never have believed in a hundred years that I would have a family like this.” Well, he lived almost a hundred years and he did have a family like this.
He was a wonderful father to Lorrie and Matthew, unconditionally loving. He was a very devoted father.
He was wonderful to Peter and was very happy with Shelly. He loved his grandchildren William, Molly and Benjamin completely, and equally.
He was very proud of Molly and Benjamin.
They had William every Tuesday for dinner.
Milt and Annette never missed any event, even driving to Maine and Pittsburgh for events.
Family was very, very important to him. Nephews and nieces always remained close. There was a cousins club. They hosted the Seders and Rosh Hashanah meals. It was a close family.
In general, he was an extremely optimistic, positively disposed person. He was very practical. If something was broken, fix it.
To Lorrie and Matthew and the whole family, we wish you G-d’s comfort at this sad time. He was a righteous person. May he rest in peace. Let us say Amen.